The chiefs of Poutini Ngāi Tahu, the people of the West Coast, wrote to the government’s land purchase officer, Donald McLean, in 1857, outlining concerns about the sale of their land. They were willing to sell the land for £2,500, but wanted to make arrangements for reserves. In particular, they wished to protect their rights to the pounamu (greenstone) of the Arahura River. When the land was sold in 1860, these rights were ignored.
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